Does your idea need a business plan?
January 27, 2022
By Andrea Keats
Sometimes the best ideas come to you when you least expect it. They may pop up during a chilly winter afternoon walk, a conversation with a friend, or while drinking a nice hot cup of tea on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Either way, you have an idea and are wondering if it’s worth taking the next step.
Here are five questions to answer before taking your idea from business concept to business plan.
1. Who are you selling to?
Having a clear idea of your target market, or your who, is imperative in the business planning process. New businesses need customers to survive, and methods such as market research, surveys, and good old-fashioned conversations are among the top ways to know who your customers will be.
2. What do you plan to do?
Yes, you have an idea or business concept, but do you know what your business is going to be or what it’s going to do? What is your idea? What service or product are you offering? What need or gap will it fill? This may be one of the biggest obstacles in the business writing process. Your original what may evolve slightly throughout the business planning process, and that’s OK!
3. The Why?
There are so many reasons to start a small business. Perhaps you just need a change of pace from your current employment or you are ready for a new challenge, maybe you’ve been out of the workforce and are ready to return on your own terms. A business plan will expand on your why and provide insight on why this business will work (or why it won’t, but let’s be optimistic!) – both for your customers and for yourself as an entrepreneur.
4. The When?
It’s always a bit scary starting something new, but there’s a Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” If starting a business has been an idea that has been on your mind for a while, the best time to start is now. A business plan will set you up to know when you can expect to open your doors, as well as inform you on the busy times to expect throughout the operating year.
5. And the Where?
While historically businesses have required a brick-and-mortar location for their services, that is not necessarily the case now. You may be providing a service that can be offered virtually, or you may require a storefront or commercial space for your business. A business plan will help you find the ideal space to meet your needs and where you can best meet the needs of your customers.
Did your idea pass the test? If so, your next step will be to develop a business plan. We always tell our clients that a well executed business plan is so much more than a document to give funders and financial institutions to access capital. It should act as a road map for your startup that guides your first year or two of operations. Further, it should be updated regularly to reflect your ever-changing external and internal environments to ensure that you stay ahead of the game and your competitors.
Indigrow Business Management is a majority Indigenous owned consulting company providing business advisory services to small businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond. At Indigrow, we want to see you succeed. From the very first conversation until we deliver your completed business plan, we will be actively engaged with you every step of the way. Our high standards and attention to detail guarantee a thorough and professional business plan completed in 60 days or less.
My brilliant ideas (okay brilliant maybe exaggerating) is always when I am not over thinking it, outside and connecting with my environment during hikes, paddles and runs.
I enjoyed your article, great advise and thanks for sharing!